Monday, March 3, 2008

Three Fans in Pullman

by Peter Elderon
Peter, Wally Mersereau and Su Schaffer celebrate
Sunday was the second game for this week's FBC road trip, and on Saturday, the hotel in Spokane was basketball central: the St. Mary's team was there to play Gonzaga in a huge game for both teams and the WCC; the B State High School Basketball Championship was ongoing; and then the Stanford team showed up. There was not enough room in the inn, and (KZSU announcer) Jake (Kelman) and a few others had to wait 2 hours before getting a room. While there was still some snow on the ground, winter was retreating, and Sunday was a bright sunny day for driving over the high plains from Spokane to Pullman. This area is apparently the lentil capital of the country with Pullman as host to the yearly National Lentil Festival. The "crowd" in Pullman was somewhat sparse (a reported attendance of 675 in an arena that looks like it could hold 15,000 or more), and only 3 members of the FBC made the trip. These 3 were easily outnumbered by parents of current and former players. However, this meant we all had very good seats for what became an historic day for Candice and Stanford Women's Basketball. Candice started out strong with a series of 3s, but with about 5 minutes to go in the half, the game well in our control and "only" 14 points, she took a seat on the bench. We speculated whether it was likely she would score a point in the second half, but with under 2 minutes to go, Candice was needed back in the game. She promptly scored on a driving lay-up and was fouled. The three of us jumped up to cheer extra loud, but the game went on: she sank the free throw, and then the stadium announcer halted the game to explain why we three were cheering. The ref gave her the game ball, and she somewhat sheepishly handed it to Cissy for safekeeping while the whole crowd gave her a generous round of applause. Unfortunately, the first half also had one very down moment a bit later: Jayne and Heather Molzen, a big, tough player for WSU, got entangled while fighting for a rebound and both fell to the floor where they were clearly hurt. The refs called a foul on each. While Jayne's right hand seemed hurt, Heather appeared to have perhaps broken her wrist or forearm. (Molzen did not return to the game, but fortunately Jayne came out after half-time with only a bandage on her right thumb and played for a few minutes; she rested once the game was clearly won.)
As yet another indicator of why we love Candice, when she was taken out a little bit later, the first thing she did was go down to the end of the bench and ask Jayne if she was ok. The second half was somewhat uneventful, but Stanford did win and thereby clinched the Pac-10 championship. However, Su had gone to the Kinko's near the hotel in Spokane and had made a very nice sign to honor the occasion, and right after the game, the team posed with it to honor Candice once again. - Peter
Wally and Su join the team in celebrating with Candice

1 comment:

  1. Sweet little story and photos, Peter. Thanks!